Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sea of Shoes

How cute and inspiring is Jane Aldridge of Sea of Shoes Fame?  Apparently we were both in Austin hanging at the same places last week...check out her gorgeous pics of my hometown here...she's only 17 and lives in Dallas...wish I had had that kind of style at her age! Her mother has a great blog too and a vintage's easy to see where Jane gets her fashion sense from!
She also has a new collection of shoes at Urban Outfitters and I think this lovely black pair fills a "fancy" hole in my wardrobe - $98

Can I have this Hair Please??


I love...

a few things that caught my eye this week...

This Calendar from Linea Carta - $26
(via Greedy Girl)

Book Boxes From Wisteria - $49
(via Creature Comforts)

Retro Pens by Kikkerland - $8
(via Tailor Taste)

white oxfords by Marais USA - $88
(via A Cup of Jo)

and  this Mackers Bow Tie - $58


Boho Blues

It's already winter here in Minneapolis...I've dragged out the puffy coats and snow's grey, rainy and depressing!  Especially coming back from charming and sunny Austin.  However, I spied a little glimmer of sunshine in the back of Lucky Magazine this morning that inspired me to summer up my winter wardrobe.  Instead of succumbing to chunky sweaters and drab colors I'm going to layer this gorgeous floral number over a black turtleneck, pop on my No 6 boots, add a jaunty beret, and a spritz of lilac scented En Passant and be on my merry way!

Clockwise from top left: Cupcake Dress - Porridge - $175, En Passant Body Lotion - Barneys NY - $85, No. 6 Aviator Boot - No. 6 - $415Peasant Cap - Stewart + Brown - (was $165) now $79, Black Turtleneck - J Crew - $39.50

**a word about the No 6 boots, I'm kind of obsessed!! They are amazing and are made to order so you can get them in any height (great for super shorties like moi!)  Call 1 212 226 5759 to order - the girls at the shop are super nice and helpful! and please mention I sent you because I desperately wanted to carry them this season and they turned me down :( **

5 Under $50 - Target

Target can be hit or miss for me...sometimes the designer collections are great (Thakoon) and sometimes downright disappointing.  I am really excited to check out Rodarte which lands on Dec 2oth though! For low prices that don't scream cheap quality the Converse One Star label usually fits the bill and sometimes Mossimo.  Here are a few picks from my recent grocery/browsing run.

Channel Amelia Earhart in this  faux leather sherpa lined bomber. Cute fit and nice worn in feel - $39.99

Mossimo's Flannel Boyfriend top is super soft and totally on trend in Buffalo plaid - $15

The trick to this simple and comfy Converse One Star dress is in the styling. I added tights, fringe moccasin boots and a big chunky necklace - $29.99                          Then topped it off with this Mossimo Faux Fur Trapper hat to stay warm and dry - $14.99

Last but not least, I am loving this Boots Botanics Organic Face Hydrating Day Cream.  Yummy smell and a yummy price -$11.00
Okay, now that I've been budget friendly look for a super luxe post next...xoxo, Michelle
PS - Don't forget 15% off using code Fall15 at Pretty Mommy and new markdowns...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Friday Night Lights!!!

I was just in Austin for a few days and have a ton to post about my hometown.  Unfortunately I have to unpack and decompress but wanted to drop a quick note about my favorite show that premieres tomorrow (wednesday) night!!  Seriously, Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch, above) would be enough reason to put Friday Night Lights on your tivo schedule but it also happens to be one of the most compelling shows on TV and it's filmed in my favorite city :)  Yes, it's about small town Texas football...Don't overthink it...just watch now!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Stella at GapKids

Mark your calendars! On November 2nd Stella McCartney's capsule collection for GapKids hits the stores...from newborn to size 12, prices from $14 - $158.   Looks Brilliant!

New Sale Items at Pretty Mommy

Check out the new Sale items at Pretty Mommy...Matta Ombre scarves, Matta Wool Scarves, and Lizzie Fortunato have all markdowns!! Take an extra 15% off your entire purchase with Code Fall15 at checkout...xoxo

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

OMG! Cutest Crafts Ever

The more blogs I read, the more impressed I am of the creativity out there on the interweb...This has to be the cutest, most stylish craft I've ever seen...I'm rushing out to copy asap...get the directions here: P.S. I Made This

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mother's Little Helper

I'm normally a pretty easy going gal...I avoid drama like it's the plague and can usually swallow my pride to keep the peace.  However, I haven't slept though the night for TWO years...yes, you heard me - 2 years...I'm not asking for pity - it's my fault - I've babied my little Lila and she needs her mommy everytime her eyes flutter 11, at 4:30, get the picture.   So I apologize if I'm a little off balance...sometimes a girl just snaps! But, never fear - I have my little rescue remedy...four little drops, all herbal, all natural...ahh! Serenity now!


I love this home in upstate New York...perfect cozy fall yumminess...I'll be scouring ebay for a map like this asap! 
Photos: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Stocking Stuffer...

Socks always make me feel a little frumpy but lovely slippers are another story! I'd love to have these show up on Christmas Day...(hint, hint)
Handmade French Press Felted Slippers - $55
(via Little Brown Pen)

also...get started on holiday shopping early - 15% off at Pretty Mommy - Use code Fall15 - thru Oct 31st

Friday, October 16, 2009

Flights of Fancy

I usually stay away from high fahion posts because I really want to provide ideas for great day to day pieces but everyone needs a little inspiration to push your style from basic to beyond.  I love to check out my friend Marisa's blog for pure fashion fantasy...she always features some of my favorites - Isabel Marant, Vanessa Bruno, Balmain and some unexpected things as well.  She also makes gorgeous jewelry!

Pick 6 Under $50 - Banana Republic....oops nevermind!

Okay, what's going on at Banana? This is a line in need of a new creative director a la Jenna Lyons at J Crew or Patrick Robinson at the Gap.  I seriously couldn't find anything to recommend even at an extra 25% off....Boo!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Economies of Scale

There's been a lot written on the blogosphere of late about the demise of Cookie Magazine.  To me, it was a gorgeous, well designed parenting magazine that offered beautiful fashion, dreamy vacation photos, yummy fast recipes and inspirational interiors.  It seems my opinion was not shared by everyone, especially this writer for Babble who directs a lot of ire at Cookie for ack! daring to show $400 dresses, vacations in the Maldives, and cashmere layette sets.  She takes the layouts as an affront to her abilities as a mother instead of escapist fantasy that most fashion magazines are.  If she had looked closely she would have seen the Target pieces next to the Isabel Marant, the simple dinner solutions (If you have a.... was the best!), and the great movie & book recommendations.  I've encountered this attitude frequently during my time working in boutiques.  People get really offended by expensive clothes...and on some level I get it. I'm a stay at home mom and my husband is a newspaper journalist so you do the math and figure out where my clothing budget is.  But, there is great design on every level these days so you can take that $1000 coat you're in love with and find a similar version at H&M or the Gap.  There are also things with dreaming about, worth saving for and spending the money on timeless, quality pieces is something I will never regret.  When you buy a small independent designer, like Phillip Lim, there is an amazing amount of work  behind it and not a lot of payoff.  They don't buy fabric in bulk so that is expensive, they don't use sweatshops, they generally have to pay commission to a showroom to rep the line, and then the boutique has to mark it to cover their expenses as well.  So that $400 dress was $200 to the boutique and maybe the designer made $25? on it.  The boutique has to cover rent, utilities, payroll, and takes a risk on the product selling.  I've yet to meet anyone in this industry who is making a lot of money.  They generally do it because they love fashion and not for any financial gain. 
That said, I definitely feel guilty when I splurge on a special item, but I feel the same guilt when I support businesses that I know use sweatshops and knock off the original work of small designers.  It's a tossup, but I'm trying to take a lesson from our European friends and buy 1 nice coat instead of 5 trendy ones, etc., I will continue buy my basics at moderately priced and stylish chains like Anthropologie and J Crew and I will fill in the gaps with cheap & chic items from Forever 21, H&M, Target etc.  On Pretty Mommy, I aim to show a wide variety of price points and quality and I hope you bear with me if you find expensive clothes insulting and take a look at some of my budget friendly finds as well.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

6 Under $50 - The Gap

I've lived in the midwest long enough to feel a little bit guilty about the expensive goodies I've posted lately so I'm repenting all this week by showing 6 essentials all under $50.  And I'm picking them all from one website because I know busy moms don't have a million hours to surf the www (and you'll save on shipping!) Gorgeous and Guilt free!  xoxo Michelle

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rifle Paper Co.

While I'm on my design kick - check out Rifle Paper Co. Aren't these some of the most beautiful and interesting invitations you've ever seen? I bet they would make gorgeous birth annoucements as well! Their blog is also full of inspiring bits of ephemera and awesome DIY projects.

Caitlin McGauley

If you checked out Lonny Mag you probably noticed Caitlin McGauley's gorgeous illustrations throughout.  Her lovely work is inspired by fashion, food, interiors and NYC - all of my favorite things! You can read her blog here - lots of illustrations and I found this genius book recommendation on there too (Mrs. Kennedy Goes Abroad, by Vibhuti Patel, illustrated by Jacqueline Duheme) A bit about her work in Lonny Mag starts on page 29.
BTW - I totally want this coat - they have a one like it at A.P.C.
and I'm very excited that she might do a little piece just for Pretty Mommy - Yeah!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I ♥ Steven Alan

Shopping economically doesn't have to mean hitting bargain stores like h&m and forever 21.  It can simply mean choosing chic, timeless pieces that you'll love and wear forever.  My personal favorite source for this is the NYC based Steven Alan.  It perfectly captures that East Coast preppy with an edge/nyc hipster vibe I adore. 

I'd start with this Tippi coat - $495 - it could be sophisticated Hitchcock heroine with long gloves, a bit mod with a mini, or 80's prep with a navy cardigan and khakis.

I've been on a huge skirt kick lately and looove this Ella corduroy - $158 - I'm tossing mine over some cute Bleu Foret patterned tights and my No 6 short boots

add a great sweater - Hayley - $345, a sleek over the shoulder bag - Rachel Nasvik Eleanor Mini - $296, and an unconventional cashmere button hat - $98 - mix and match to your hearts content...xoxo

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Long Live Lonny Mag!

For those of you who mourned the demise of wonderful shelter magazine Domino comes the new Lonny Mag to the rescue. Online only and staffed by many former Domino peeps it's a fabulous update to the beloved magazine. The best and most dangerous feature is the ability to click on an item and go directly to the website you can purchase it from. It's taken me forever just to get through it and finally post about it...whew! I especially loved the peek inside former Domino editor-in-chief Deborah Needleman's home (shown wearing a lovely Matta Dupatta in Raspberry).
Lonny Issue 1

Friday, October 9, 2009

Arty Pants

Get your art on with 2 free family events in Minneapolis this week...
Target Family Day at The MIA, October 11th, all ages, all day
Arty Pants: Tuesday Playdate at the Walker , kids ages 3 - 5, October 13th, 11 - 1pm

What Do You Feed Your Kids for Lunch?

I have to take a little break from wallet is starting to hyperventilate and the word "need" instead of "want" seems to be peppering my shopping vocab.  So, I thought I'd turn to one of my other favorite subjects - food!  Namely, what do you feed your kids for lunch?  It seems I have this quandry everyday around 11:30...I start perusing the shelves, sigh a bit, and contemplate yet another box of Annie's Mac & Cheese.  I had grand hopes of a foodie daughter when I was pregnant and did manage to make all her baby food (thanks to my Beaba Babycook - best invention ever!) but she doesn't seem to share my love for it.  Yet, that is!  I am still adamant about her eating what we eat, and still obsessed with all things organic but my creativity in the kitchen has gone I need your ideas! I'd love to hear all your suggestions...
Here's a few of our standbys to get you started:

Every month or so, I steam & puree a bunch of greens from our CSA box and freeze them in ice cube trays...I add these to pasta, eggs, etc so I can sneak in some veggies

I'm also obsessed with M'hamsa Couscous (if you live in Mpls it's at Linden Hills Coop in bulk) - super fast - I boil water, drop in some frozen peas w/the couscous, let  it return to a boil, cover and take off flame, after 10min add in olive oil, zest and juice of one lemon, chopped fresh mint, salt and pepper - delish!

Organic Chicken sausages are our healthier alternative to hotdogs...

My favorite sandwich: Smashed Chickpea Sandwich (and favorite food blog) Smitten Kitchen


Columbus Day Sale

20% off your entire order at Pretty Mommy - 4 Days only! Friday October 9 - Monday October 12th! Enter Code: COLUMBUS at checkout...Save on Matta Scarves, Lizzie Fortunato Jewelry, John Robshaw quilts, and Fleabags Handbags...Shop Now!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

J'adore Doré

I'm having a love affair...with a blog of course! It's written by Parisienne Garance Doré, and features her lovely illustrations (at right) as well as street style photography a la The Sartorialist.  It's a totally unpretentious, girlish look at fashion. I love to see all the perfectly chic French girls with their mussed hair and slightly off-kilter ensembles...swoon!  Grab a cafe, turn on some Serge Gainsbourg and prepare to be inspired...Check it out here!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Music For Mommies

I was watching Lady GaGa on Saturday Night Live this weekend and swear it was the first time I'd actually heard one of her songs (hopefully the last too - really!!). Up on Top 40 I am not. However, my husband happens to be a music writer by profession so at least one of us knows what's what. He covers the local and indie rock scene for The Star Tribune (check his column out here). While that doesn't mean our 2 year old can sing along to the White Album, tell you her favorite Johnny Cash song, or quote you Bob Dylan lyrics, she does get a good dose of great music in between rounds of her "Wee sing in the Car" cd. Here are some of our recent picks from Daddy's ipod

P.S. Most of these are all from the past year or so - I'm still a little behind :)
P.P.S. - This list should not reflect on the musical tastes or credibilty of my esteemed husband - I'm sure he'd be suitably embarrased by my attempt to write about music

Mates of State - Rearrange Us - husband and wife team, pretty harmonies, poignant lyrics...they tour with their kids and write a cute blog about it on Babble called Band on the Diaper Run

Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend - East Coast Preppies do indie rock with afro-pop influence...great for bouncing around the living room

Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix - The new French it band fronted by Sofia Coppola's baby daddy...Stylish and sweet!

Kings of Leon - if you are just now discovering these boys, check out their first few albums - Youth and Young Manhood, Aha Shake Heartbreak, and Because of the Times ...more sexy lyrics, rockin guitars, and Caleb Followill's gravely vocals...really, who can get enough of these hot boys in skinny jeans?

 Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest - I don't think my hubby is a big fan of these Brooklyn hipsters but I'm a total sucker for falsetto and love the second song on this disc

Wilco - Wilco (The Album) - the classic critic's fave for good reason...the new album features a duet with Feist and Wilco (the song)

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz - fronted by the coolest Woman in Rock, the new disc is a little mellower and more's to hoping Lila loves Karen O instead of Miley Cyrus

MIA - Kala - Did you happen to catch her 9 months pregnant performing at the Grammy's? That's real Girl Power! Great for "shaking the sillies out" with your toddler

89.3 The Current - I'm from Austin and generally think that it beats any city hands down in most catagories...but I have to give it up for the Twin Cities public radio station The's by far the best in the country (you can listen online here)...Bonus: they also stream a great kid's mix called Wonderground Radio!

And we always love:  Willie nelson, weezer, spoon, ryan adams, rufus wainwright, prince, pavement, band of horses, beatles, beach boys...etc too many to list!
also, some Kid's Cds that don't suck: